For 3 years, it ran in the Greeley Tribune. Since then, it has run in various subsidiaries of the Douglas County News Press. I still have most of my columns in digital format.
For many years, I only gave myself one rule: try to work the word "library" into every piece. My intent was to think in public about just what librarianship means at the end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st.
Recently I interviewed an author (Kate Lawrence, author of "The Practical Peacemaker") who made a beguiling argument: the path to peace begins with a simplified life.
Something magical happens to children. They grow from extraordinarily self-centered creatures (think of the toddler whose vocabulary centers around the words "no!" and "mine!") to members of a family, capable of both compassion and acts of genuine altruism.
I've been thinking about that after reading an article in Forbes Magazines called "America's 25 Best Places to Live," by Peter Kilborn. You can find it online at www.forbes.com/2009/07/07/relocate-relocation-cities-lifestyle-real-estate-affordable-moving_print.html. It's worth a read.
Here's the good news: of the top 25 places in the United States to relocate (usually in pursuit of a climb up the corporate ladder), three of them are in Douglas County. Coming in at number 4 is Parker. Number 5 is Castle Rock. Number 20 is Highlands Ranch.
I've been thinking a lot lately about library development: how the public institution I serve has changed over time.
At the beginning of library development, the focus, the measures of success, are mostly about inputs. Is there enough money to hire staff, buy materials, build buildings, and invest in technology?
Assuming that those basic needs are met, then libraries start focusing on other kinds of measures: outputs. Internally, we use benchmarks. For instance, we divide the number of checkouts (or the number of new materials ordered and processed) by the number of people it took to do that. Then we compare it to last year's number. Objective: get more productive and efficient. (We have!)